The Immigrants’ Case of Shakespeare: A Discussion About Borders and Health Effects of Separation

In the only surviving script to contain his handwriting, William Shakespeare composed an extraordinary speech for the The Book of Sir Thomas More in which More defends immigrants against an angry mob. Over 400 years later, the United States federal government was shut down for weeks over the issue of whether to construct a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. In this podcast, public health researcher Kathleen Bachynski and pediatrics resident Brit Trogen examine how Shakespeare’s words connect through the centuries to current immigration debates. Contemporary rhetoric demonizing immigrants and policies governing how they are treated have serious effects on immigrants’ health. Through a careful reading of this Shakespearean text, Bachynski and Trogen explore how a humanities perspective raises moral issues at the center of an ongoing political and health crisis.

Listen to the podcast here.

See more from the Monthly Medical Humanities Podcast here.

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